It’s interesting to me that this last round of songs has been highly random—we’re purposefully leaving very few breadcrumbs for the next person to follow our trail through the mix. This is the first time we’ve had a sustained length of songs where we seem to be following our edict (this song is a reaction to the previous one) from our guts instead of our ears. Which means we’re going a lot of weird places.
So the one breadcrumb that leads from the utterly baffling Consor to this rave-up from Stereolab is the way the electronic buzz overpowers everything else, toeing the line between earworm and earache. This song is as much a reflection of how badly I want us to return to warm pop territory as it is a representation of the cicadas that have lately been humming incessantly outside my window at night. m. joosse
I was going to put up an LFO (Mark Bell, who produced some Björk) track that fit in nicely but it felt like too much of the same. Mixes should have pauses, or spaces to reset while a theme develops so here’s a piece by Consor. Some of my favorite tracks are long with a sense of drama and build that start with a theme and dance around it and return to it (Eno, Mogawi, Godspeed). This one reminds me of Music for…-era Eno and has the electronica and scratchiness we’ve been grooving on. I like the ambience and slowness and those deeper pipe-organ-like notes that run throughout.
So I agonized quite a bit over this track selection. The ambient, glitch-tech sound is very much in my wheel house and I could comfortably stay here for a while. Part of me feels that’s too easy and just wouldn’t feel right. For some reason I am compelled to post this great track by Sleigh Bells. It just feels like the right song to relate to the swells of random noise this mix is veering towards. But it also picks up the pace slightly and guides us towards the second half of the mix. r.smigielski
Speaking of straying from a path, I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to use a Björk track for this post. She’s done industrial, she’s done great beats, she’s done dark, she’s done killer vocals. For restless experimentalism and relentless innovation, I’ll always look to her, because even if she produces something I don’t like, I still know she followed her muse and it took her to somewhere in deep space and back.
But which Björk to use? The Debut era quickly became dated-sounding. Post and Homogenic have some spectacular songs that will live forever. My attention wavered from Vespertine and Volta by emphasizing mood over melody. And I found Medulla flat-out impenetrable, even though it did with voices what Robb’s and Epp’s tracks did with synths, and that would’ve been a cool place to take the mix.
But this “Hidden Place” remix hit all the right notes with me. It seems to almost literally exist outside the Björk canon—available only as a download from her website, it removes much of her vocal parts and reconstructs the song into a twitchy, human-mechanical hybrid that doesn’t resemble the original version even a little. I love how the very warm-sounding hi-hat bears the unmistakable footprint of a human being, which Björk—and much of our volume so far—had seemingly been running away from at that point. m. joosse
I don’t know how I came across the video below, but it induced me to go straight to iTunes and buy the album. I’m straying from the industrial path a bit but this track has great beats, atmosphere, and is well dark. Nodern is the moniker of a South African artist/musician named Mitch Stratten who built that crazy dog including animatronics.
I used to work at this rock’n'roll t-shirt shop in Phoenix AZ. It was a dream job for college. Sat around all day folding t-shirts, selling Dr. Martens and those Calvin pissing on Ford/Chevy stickers. We sat around and listened to music. Any music we wanted. When I first started, I was fresh out of high school and completely ensconced in the Seattle grunge thing. The other guys at the shop quickly labeled me “seattle boy” for the fact that the music I brought in to play was so idiotically narrow-minded. Needless to say, I discovered a lot of music by working there and quickly outgrew my grunge fixation.
One of the guys there claimed to have 5000 cd’s (which i never actually saw but for the most part believed). He played a lot of industrial music (Front 242, Skinny Puppy, etc…). I heard a lot of it over and over again, and I wondered if the repetition would eventually empower me to “love” it. But it always just washed over me like lukewarm water. Complete indifference. Some things did stand out that I grew to completely love. They will remain unnamed as they actually might appear further in this mix.
But Meat Beat Manifesto is one of the greats. In particular I find the album 99% to be masterpiece. Probably because its the one that focuses on vocals more than samples. The vocals are what just kill on this album. And Psyche Out kills perhaps just a little bit more than anything else. r. smigielski
I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to industrial music, which I found terrifying at first, based on brief glimpses of Front 242 and Ministry on late-night MTV, but came around to realizing how much beauty there was in its perpetual motion machinery.
And I used to think Virtuosity, the source of this song, was a great movie. Then I realized it would be trapped in time as pointing the way to a future that never came and was never really wanted. And it dumped Russell Crowe on America. For that it must be punished.
“There are no bad guys, just disturbed guys.” It reminds me that I’m always misunderstanding something. m. joosse
The best track from the best industrial album I ever owned, The Revolting Cocks’ Big Sexy Land. Like M.I.A. RevCo was enveloped in controversy in the 80s and the UK even banned tracks like “No Devotion” (“The voice of god means nothing anymore!”). Being in high school during the height of industrial in a city at it’s center (WaxTrax) I saw my share of shows at the Metro in Chicago; Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Test Dept., Laibach, Skinny Puppy, Front 242, Einsturzende Neubauten, Nitzer Ebb and more. In the basement of the Metro was The Smart Bar where “Attack Ships On Fire” and Nitzer Ebb’s “Join in the Chant” always had immediate and complete effect on the dance floor.
I always put Big Sexy Land up there with Fear Of A Black Planet, 2 albums I often revisit that ended the 80s on angry, relentless and awesome notes.
Every couple of days, one of the NEIMT authors will post a song that is in some way a reaction to the previous song posted by another author. Every 15 songs will be packaged up with cover art and presented for download as a complete mix. The only rule is that no artist can appear more than once in the same volume.
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